Shenzhen, CN is piloting AVs
Since China opened its doors to the world in 1980, Shenzhen has been the most visible symbol of the country’s astonishing economic growth. The city’s population exploded from just 60,000 in 1980 to more than 10 million. The built-up area expanded five-fold alone in the 1980s.
Today, Shenzhen is taking on a new role as China looks to re-engineer its cities in a greener, cleaner image. The conversion of the entire fleet of 14,000 city buses to electric propulsion is on track for completion by the end of 2017. And the ambitious Alphaba project has already logged some 8,000 km in tests of self-driving technology for the upgraded fleet.
Focusing on the city’s Futian district, a new free trade zone, Shenzhen’s AV bus pilots are using vehicles that are more akin to traditional city buses than the pint-sized driverless shuttles being tested in cities across the globe. The Chinese-made buses, which feature self-driving technology supplied by Shenzhen Haylion Technologies, operate at speeds of up to 20 mph carrying up to 20 passengers. Currently, four buses serve a 1.2 km route with 3 stops.